Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Tour for Intensity by C.C. Koen (Review & GIVEAWAY)


I'm drawn to emotionally intense reads with complex characters not easily definable and with Intensity by C.C. Koen, you get all that and more.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this book and learn even more about it by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  You'll also get my impressions of this book and learn a bit about the hero in the author's own words.  Make sure to fill out the form blow for the chance to win a $10 bookstore GC too!

I've fallen in love with Linc. What appeals to me is his wounded spirit. Men are so different from females in that they internalize their failures (or what they perceive to be failures). Many women wear their emotions on their sleeves, but men often don't. That deep-seated control is a societal expectation, as well as a gender predisposition. Therefore, when men experience pain, they are told by society, parents, etc. to suck it up. We all know how damaging and disastrous pent-up turmoil can be in the long run; somehow, someway it has to come out. Aggression or withdraw are common results. Linc is the withdrawal type. An endearing quality about Linc, is even though he owns an escort business, he cares deeply about the women and respects them. If you've read any escort related novels, I think you'll find that isn't the case. 
Linc drives Serena's story in a complex way. He sends her many mixed signals which determine how she reacts. Usually we think of a woman as the type to play games but instead Linc does. He wants to be with her, yet he fights it every step of the way. Which drives Serena crazy. 
Linc, although he owns an escort business, is unlike what society would think of a man who owns such a business. That is all I'm giving you about Linc. You'll have to read the story to learn more. No spoilers here. I'm keeping my man under wraps.

What would you do to improve your life?
Twenty-one-year-old Serena Thomas is faced with a tough decision. Unable to get ahead of debt and loneliness since her grandmother’s death she finds a new job, placing the sheltered virgin in an underground escort business. She tells herself it’s just a temporary life choice, but destiny has a different plan. She meets a mysterious and gorgeous man, who happens to be her new boss. Will Serena fit in or will she be left all alone again?
Lincoln (aka: Linc) Jefferson has an unusual life. He established The Lounge, an exclusive escort club for very personal reasons. A place where the women say who, when, and what type of sex they’re willing to have. The escorts possess all the power and the money. It’s a business Linc guards at all costs. Trying to maintain the secrecy is a constant challenge and one that’s tested when he enters into a relationship with Serena. She tempts him unlike any woman, even though he’s surrounded by beauty on a daily basis. The more time they spend together the harder it is for him to keep his secrets. Will Serena stand by his side or will she abandon him?
Sparks and passion fly, taking these two on a journey neither could have expected.

EXCERPT:

He yanked me up from my seat and launched his lips on mine so fast the contact zapped me with a thousand volts. His strokes, bold at first, lightened to soft, tender kisses almost as if he was asking permission to enter—to taste.
The heat from his hands, holding my upper arms, seared me.
My fists clenched and unclenched over and over at my sides.
Touch him? Don’t touch him?
Unable to deny myself, I moved closer, aligning my body with his. My hands gravitated of their own volition, melting to his tight abs and drifting upward, over his chest and up to his neck, where I held on for the ride.
His loud groan rumbled across my breasts, and his firm arms wound around my back, crushing me against him.
For the first time in my life, I surrendered and parted my lips, ready to welcome him in. Instead of tongues diving toward one another, Linc stilled and clamped his mouth shut. As I started to step away, he clenched my hips, holding me in place. He pressed his forehead to mine and slammed his eyes closed.
Kiss me, please.

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  KOBO  |  SMASHWORDS

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Once I read the synopsis for this story I knew I had to read it.  From the first page to the last I got well-paced storytelling, with a bit of suspense and romance surrounding a compelling main couple.  It's a book full of emotional ups and downs with a few unexpected twists and turns along the way to HFN.

Serena is at the lowest point in her life after her grandmother dies leaving insurmountable medical debts.  With no family, few friends, and working too much for too little has she opts to work for an escort service her friend Mylaynee tells her about.  Having no sexual experience doesn't stop her, but it's a beacon to the agency owner who proclaims her exclusively his as he pulls her into a whirlwind relationship full of secrets and sensuality.  Serena is an admirable woman willing to sacrifice all for those she cares about.  Her friendship with Mylaynee is truly supportive and easy to relate to.  Though her connection to Lincoln is quick to form the actual relationship evolves slowly with scenes teeming with sensuality but very little sex.  Serena was a bit naive early on, letting the situation with B.B. drag on too long and not demanding more answers from Lincoln, but she was still admirable for making her own way.

Lincoln was an intriguing character full of secrets and a painful past he's not quick to divulge.  He may run an escort service, but he's not your stereotypical owner as he wants the girls to be in charge of their own lives.  He's immediately drawn to Serena and claims her for himself while taking the time to truly get to know her.  He's sexy and engaging but not perfect as he has business dealings that could jeopardize his burgeoning relationship with Serena.  It all makes for a relationship surprising in its low steam quotient but full of ups and downs due to secrets yet to be revealed.

This was a pleasant tale from a new-to-me author that shows some talent and creativity for not taking the expected path.  The main characters are compelling with a connection that blossomed on an emotional and personal level instead of just being sexual.  Though there's a definitive ending to this story, there's definitely more on the horizon for these two very different people and I'm looking forward to where Linc's past will take them in the future.

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

C.C. Koen writes contemporary romance with a twist. An avid reader who enjoys mystery and suspense, her stories will never be what you expect. Determined to find adventure in her dreams and life, she enjoys skydiving, sailing and any activity that challenges her. Teacher by day, romance writer at night produce an active imagination that comes to life in her writing. Intensity is her debut novel.

WEBSITE: www.cckoen.com
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  https://www.amazon.com/author/cckoen

**********GIVEAWAY**********

a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  2. Thank you for participating in the Intensity tour. I appreciate the time you took to read and review it. More to come from Linc and Serena in the sequel, Serenity, fall 2015.

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    1. Thank YOU for stopping by! I saw that the sequel was getting closer and I'm excited to see more from them....

      The Scarf Princess

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  3. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

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  4. Looks like a really good read. Nice excerpt. Thanks for the chance

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  5. Thanks for the chance to enter giveaway

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  6. I found your impressions helpful thank you.

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  7. Wow, the cover is gorgeous! I enjoyed your review, thanks! And thanks for the giveaway!

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  8. Great review and that cover is amazing!

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